Syrian opposition make impossible demands to try and collapse peace talks

The Syrian ‘opposition’, a bunch of terrorist jihadis funded by Saudi, Qatar, the US and the UK have refused to negotiate with the Syrian government unless the Syrian government agrees, in advance, that it will not be any part of the future government of Syria. This is despite the fact that the Assad government has widespread popular support and the jihadis have little or none and no claim to be the government of Syria.

The fact that the Syrian ‘opposition’ wants complete surrender from the Syrian government, before they begin talks, shows that they are not at all serious about this attempt to reach a peaceful solution at this conference, to which they have been dragged kicking and screaming. Clearly they wish the talks to fail so that they can resume their terror campaign against the Syrian people.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/24/uk-syria-crisis-idUKBREA0J0SX20140124

Long standing plan for Chemical Weapons false flag attack in Syria

http://notinourname.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/chemical-weapons-false-flag-against-syria-update/

Chemical Weapons False Flag Against Syria Update

Bloodshed in Cairo as pro-Morsi camps cleared – video report

Egyptian military massacres unarmed supporters of democratically elcted government

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/aug/14/bloodshed-cairo-camps-cleared-video?CMP=twt_gu

Snowden issued Russian entry papers, leaves airport

http://rt.com/news/snowden-entry-papers-russia-902/

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been issued papers which will allow him to enter Russian territory, according to his legal representative in the country. Sources say he has already left the airport.

“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax.

Snowden has already left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, an RT crew at the scene has confirmed.

The whistleblower has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia, Rossiya 24 news channel reports.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.

Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.

Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.

In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.

Syrian ‘Rebels’ wearing uniforms supplied by France, execute unarmed prisoner in cold blood

EU to allow Syrian ‘rebels’ to sell oil to fund their violence, in contravention of international law

EU to allow Syrian ‘rebels’ to sell oil to fund their violence, in contravention of international law

Gearoid O’Colmain tells the truth about the western plan for control of Syrian oil

Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure

Video shows how some of the 140 detainees at Guantanamo are tortured (force fed)

‘Prince’ Harry witnessed unprovoked murder of Afghan goatherds by US forces

Amongst this PR piece for the Ginger Prince, is an interesting account of the random murder of some Afghan goatherds by US forces in Afghanistan

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362684/The-bloody-day-Harry-witness-horrific-war-crime-Prince-just-220yds-away-US-special-forces-troops-fired-machine-gun-Afghan-goat-herders.html

Prince Harry was no more than 220 yards away when a US trooper standing aboard an armoured vehicle cocked a .50 calibre machine gun and fired successive bursts at Afghan shepherds tending their goats, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The shocking incident, which was confirmed last night by the Ministry of Defence, triggered a war crimes investigation by US military police.
It took place on Harry’s first frontline tour of Afghanistan, which, until today, has been shrouded in secrecy.

At the time Harry’s squadron from the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) were mounting joint patrols in Helmand province with a US Special Forces unit codenamed ‘Task Force 32’.
According to a British eye- witness the three shepherds were peacefully minding their own business when they were engaged.
Given the force of the heavy machine gun rounds it is likely they suffered serious or fatal injuries, though their bodies were never recovered.

Harry’s colleague Sergeant Deane Smith, 40, was so enraged that he recorded his reaction on a video camera, saying: ‘The Americans are fifty-caling [machine-gunning] goat herders and it’s disgraceful!’

Sgt Smith then zoomed in on the armoured vehicle from where the US trooper had launched his attack.
Sgt Smith, a commando engineer, has given the first graphic account of Harry’s front-line experiences and how the Prince dodged repeated Taliban ambushes.
Harry’s first tour ended in February 2008 after an Australian magazine broke a media embargo over his presence in the war zone.
Subsequent reports suggested Harry was treated as a VIP rather than just another junior officer while he was there. In fact, as this newspaper has established, he was pitched into the thick of the fighting.

Sgt Smith has told The Mail on Sunday how the day before Task Force 32 opened fire on the shepherds, Harry witnessed the deaths of young children when a Taliban rocket intended to strike his vehicle missed its target and struck an Afghan family home.

Sgt Smith also described how Harry, then just 23, displayed a remarkable empathy for his soldiers, some of whom were overwhelmed by the horrors of war.
He said: ‘I’ll never forget the Yank opening up on the shepherds, which was a completely unjustified attack and sadly typical of how the campaign was conducted. But Harry had a way of reconciling everything he saw and keeping his emotions in check, often when more experienced soldiers were crying their eyes out.
‘On the day of the rocket attack on the family home, Harry was there, comforting a soldier as the charred remains of young children were removed.
‘He also arranged for the wounded to be transferred from the battlefield to a military hospital.
‘The dead were very young, their arms the width of two of my fingers. This was horrible to see.

‘In early 2008, I spent ten weeks in Helmand with Harry and he was fearless throughout, even when armoured cars were being blown up and he was being shot at.
‘Looking back, I can’t believe he was so keen to subject himself to such danger.’
Sgt Smith added that Harry’s disregard for his safety unsettled his soldiers, who would implore him to swap his favourite baseball cap for a protective helmet whenever enemy rounds were fizzing overhead.

Harry also came within a single stride of setting off a live IED (improvised explosive device), a brush with death he laughed off as he lit another from an endless chain of cigarettes.
Harry was apparently critical of British tactics and complained when his armoured column were ordered to retreat – at the time UK and US forces were involved in Operation Snakebite, the battle to recapture the town of Musa Qala in Helmand province from the Taliban.

BBC correspondent in Afghanistan admits pro-army bias ‘Embedded in Iraq: ‘a tool in the military tool box, willingly or not’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/blogcollegeofjournalism/posts/Embedded-in-Iraq-a-tool-in-the-military-tool-box-willingly-or-not?postId=116764291#comment_116764291

Caroline Wyatt has covered the conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq for the BBC. In the first instalment of a two-part blog to mark the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, she describes the nature of the relationship between the media and the military in 2003 and what that meant for embedded journalists:

Caroline Wyatt reporting from Iraq
It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since we stood nervously by our vehicles on the Iraq border with Kuwait, scarves over our faces to protect us from the vicious sandstorm that whipped up in the region that long March day, waiting for our war to start.

For the dozens of journalists ‘embedded’ with British forces as they drove into Iraq that day, the war was threatening a rather belated beginning.

A Kuwaiti border guard was insisting that, even if we were part of a higgledy-piggledy column of British military and civilian vehicles, driving through long after the initial US tanks and Humvees, we didn’t have the right stamps in our passports to invade Iraq.

Thankfully, after much shouting and gesticulating through mouthfuls of sand, someone in British uniform persuaded the border guard that he really should let us through. We had a war to cover and it wasn’t going to wait for us.

It was almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh’s comic yet brilliantly accurate novel of war corresponding, Scoop. For a journalist, conflict provides some of the most vivid and powerful stories of humanity; of individual or collective acts of great courage; of good versus evil. But just as often we end up covering stories in shades less identifiable – where it can be hard to tell friend from foe, victory from stalemate, or when tragedy and comedy sit perilously close, and information is hard to come by – as it was in the early days of Iraq, a war that was, and remains, deeply controversial in the UK and elsewhere.

We often talk about the media and the military. But really there are no such things. I prefer to think of us first as individuals, and then as tribes, rather than homogenous blocks: the broadcasting tribe and the newspaper tribe within the media and the Army tribe and all its sub-units, and the RAF and Royal Navy and Royal Marine tribes that make up the military.

Just as any of those tribes can work together, and are part of a collective, each can also come into conflict with the other or within its own sub-tribes at any moment, and loyalties can be stretched in unexpected ways.

In 2003, we had to sign up to embed as official ‘war correspondents’, sign the Green Book with the MoD/military, and agree that all our copy and images would be screened by our military media minders.

We had to train to protect ourselves from chemical/biological/nuclear warfare with the NBC respirators and rubber suits that the MoD would provide us with that February. And agree to embed for up to a year if necessary – if the war lasted that long.

We agreed, and were issued with our smart blue ‘war correspondent’ armbands. I learned that I would be one of the BBC team embedding with British forces attached to the media ‘hub’, which began in a desert somewhere in Kuwait before we crossed into Iraq.

On day one in the desert, in the heat and the sand, we quickly realised where the power lay – and it wasn’t with us. We knew that as embedded journalists our lives were in the forces’ hands. British forces cooked our meals, dug our shelters, gave us information, and controlled where we could go – and that was an uncomfortable position for any journalist to be in.

That first day we were told to put our tents up while wearing our unwieldy and hot NBC kit. It wasn’t necessary, but it did show us that we were not in charge and didn’t make the rules here. We did have our own vehicle but we were told not to use it. So we were also relying on the British forces we were with for access to people and places, as well as information.

It also meant that we had chosen a side to report from, albeit as part of a wider BBC team that also had journalists and crews inside Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad, giving a different perspective and the other side to the war.

And all those embedding, wherever they were, knew that they had become a tool in the military toolbox, willingly or not, which the military and governments on both sides would seek to use to send messages to each other and to the wider watching public around the globe. It was hard not to feel an instinctive sympathy and indeed empathy with the troops looking after us. A benign form of ‘Stockholm syndrome’, if you like.

But at the same time embedding did not mean that we gave up the right to be analytical or indeed critical in the best sense when reporting on what we saw.

People often talk about the fog of war. In and around Basra in spring 2003, the fog and dust of war kept getting in the way. One day we were briefed that 80 Iraqi tanks were seen coming out of Basra. Two hours later it was down to just one or two tanks.

All the media that day – whether us, Sky, ITN or Channel 4 – in the ‘Press Information Unit’ had to go back on air to say, rather sheepishly, that the 80 tanks we’d been briefed about didn’t exist. Had never existed. Well, at least 79 of them hadn’t. And as for the other one – who knows?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,238 other followers

%d bloggers like this: